Information for the public

This procedure works well and can be used for neuroendocrine tumours that have metastasised to the liver. Complications can be serious, but are well known and do not happen often.

Neuroendocrine tumours grow in many organs of the body. The tumours start in cells that release hormones into the bloodstream (neuroendocrine cells). The tumours commonly spread from other organs to the liver (metastasis), where it may not be possible to remove them with surgery. In selective internal radiation therapy (SIRT), tiny radioactive spheres are injected into the blood vessels that supply the liver metastases. The aim is to kill the tumour cells with as little damage to nearby healthy cells as possible. It may be possible to cure the cancer or, if not, SIRT can be used to reduce tumour size, slow tumour growth or control the symptoms of carcinoid syndrome (a collection of symptoms caused by some neuroendocrine tumours that release hormones).

Is this procedure right for me?

You should be included in making decisions about your care.

Your healthcare professionals should explain the risks and benefits of this procedure and how it is done. They should discuss your options and listen carefully to your views and concerns. They should offer you more information about the procedure. Your family or carers can be involved if you want or need them to be.

You will be asked to decide whether you agree (consent) to have the procedure. Find out more about giving consent to treatment on the NHS website.

Some questions to think about

  • How many appointments will I need?
  • What are the possible benefits? How likely am I to get them?
  • What are the risks or side effects? How likely are they?
  • Will I have to stay in hospital?
  • What happens if it does not work or something goes wrong?
  • What happens if I do not want the procedure?
  • Are other treatments available?

Information and support

The NHS webpage on neuroendocrine tumours may be a good place to find out more.

You can search the NHS website for information about consultants and hospitals that offer this procedure.

The British Liver Trust (0800 652 7330) can give you advice and support.

You can also get support from your local Healthwatch.

ISBN: 978-1-4731-6040-8

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